The ITTF President Thomas Weikert has been awarded one of the highest awards in Germany, the Federal Cross of Merit in Berlin by German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
“Transparency, ethos and a climate of openness – these are the best ways to protect the values of sport. Anyone who is committed to this, makes the sport deserves, and deserves recognition and support”, German Federal President Steinmeier stated. “Only the consistent approach against doping, corruption and all forms of abuse of power ensures the integrity of the sport”.
In the explanatory statement that was read while the Federal President handed the Federal Cross over to Thomas Weikert, it was said: “Thomas Weikert had recognized earlier than many others that the fight against doping is in the best interest of all athletes and sports associations. With great commitment he campaigned for a German anti-doping law.”
The ITTF President was also honoured for his involvement in the forming of the unified Korean team at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden last month. “With unconventional action, Thomas Weikert assisted to make possible a unified Korean team to show how sports can contribute to peace and understanding.”
The former Bundesliga player was President of the German Table Tennis Federation from 2005 to 2015 and is the ITTF President since 2014, which is the world’s largest international Sports Federation with 226 member associations.
Weikert shared after the ceremony “I am very surprised to receive this award, so I am all the more pleased. It is the reward for working for a clean and fair sport in the past, as well as for continuing to make every effort to keep our sport clean in the future, and a reward for the whole team that stands behind me and for whom I am happy to accept this award on their behalf.”